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Summary: This teaching is taken from my book “Beaten, Battered, Bruised & Blessed” (Christians Recognizing and Responding to Domestic Violence) more information can be found at www.c21c.org My prayer is it will help you in Pastoral ministry.

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This teaching is taken from my book “Beaten, Battered, Bruised & Blessed” (Christians Recognizing and Responding to Domestic Violence) more information can be found at www.c21c.org My prayer is it will help you in Pastoral ministry.

Cycle of Domestic Violence

As you read this book many women are being beaten, battered and bruised by a violent man, read the statistic in Appendix 4 to get an idea of the scale of the problem. In this chapter, as you seek to understand the cycle of abuse, allow the compassion of the Holy Spirit to touch your heart and perhaps make the following a prayer for those victims who are crying out for help at this moment;

Ps 7:9 O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.

The Tension

This is a time of walking on egg shells for the victim, not knowing just when the thumping will come. As tension builds within the perpetrator for various reasons such as family pressures, work stresses or his own thought patterns. The perpetrator’s behaviour becomes more aggressive and intense regardless of how hard the victim tries to please him or calm him down. Often, because the victim knows the thumping is coming, she is eager to get it over and done with, sometimes to protect the children, thus accepting her abuser accusations ‘you asked for it’ or ‘you made me do it’.

The Threats

Because of the perpetrator’s physical strength and his sincere and terrifying threats to thump her and/or the children or damage and destroy personal and sentimental objects, the victim feels that she is under her husband’s control. The perpetrator’s verbal attacks will debilitate her even further even though she attempts to please and appease him, yet knowing the trumping is on its way. It must be remembered the controlling, domination and manipulation of a victim is constant and not just at this period of the cycle of domestic violence. The Psalmist describes well the nature of the perpetrator, His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. Ps 10:7

The Thumping

The thumping can so often be more than a punch in the face or on the arm, it can involve kicking, chocking etc. (See section on Physical Abuse). After the threats a violent explosion occurs which is usually carried out in a fit of rage and, of course the perpetrator’s victim catches the fall out. These outbursts of violence are likely to intensify over time and in many cases lead to the victim’s departure or death. domestic violence of course involves more than the physical abuse. (See Categories of domestic violence).

The Turning

The perpetrator may feel remorse, ashamed and/or guilty because of the thumping he has just given his victim. If he is a wife beating “Christian” he may well repent of the thumping. He may be afraid of the consequences and attempt to deny or minimize the thumping and refuse to take the blame for his behaviour. He may even blame his victim for the thumping because she provoked him or because she deserved it! He may also diminish the thumping by claiming he was momentarily out of control and did not realise what he was doing. Sadly, many women believe this ’reasoning’ and are once again trapped by this trickery because to admit otherwise would be to concede to the potentially dangerous circumstances she and the children are living in. Many victims believe the perpetrators turn around and that the thumping will never happen again. It is always good to bear in mind that there is a big difference from “repentance” and “regret” or feeling sorry for what one has done, as the Apostle paul points out in 2 Cor 7:9-10 “For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”


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